Friday, 8 June 2012

Call your girlfriend




I wish I didn't have to do this, I wish I could rewind the clocks, go back to six months ago, before it all started, or maybe two years, before I even met Katie. Is that horrible? Am I horrible for wishing I could erase these two years with her? Or at least that I kept us as just friends? 


Please, anyone, ring the doorbell, knock on the door, call her cell phone and tell her it's an emergency. She continues fixing her makeup, talking about dinner plans for tomorrow night, oblivious to what I'm planning to tell her in a few minutes, once I get my script straight, once I actually know what to say as soon as she starts crying and hitting me. Do I let her, or do I grab her wrists? I don't know.


How did I get myself into this? Why did I let myself dive into a relationship I wasn't ready for, instead of wait for someone to come around like she did? Her, with shiny hair that always smells like coconut and exotic places I've never been, eyes that hold just enough mystery to make every meeting feel like the first, and that ... that something extra I can't place, her smile? The way she walks? I don't know. It's everywhere I look. In the spices in my kitchen, the neighbour's music that leaks between the cracks in the walls, even the flock of balloons the street clown hands out to children. "The conversation between your fingers and someone else’s skin, this is the most important discussion you can ever have," she said. Poetry in everything she says. Poetry when we talk into the night, lying side by side in her soft, ginger-scented sheets. Opening my eyes, telling that this is real, that she is the one, and that she understands that sometimes we are with the wrong people and it's hard because they wouldn't understand, but it is never our fault that fate has played us cruelly.


"It's time you tell her," she says, after six months, two weekend trips, eight slow dances, thirteen nights , twenty-four dinners, and possibly one thousand kisses in her doorway, in my car, in the dark. I know I should tell her, I look up to her brown eyes- They know me.

I continue to pretend that I'm reading, Katie doesn't notice that I haven't turned the page in the last ten minutes; she hasn't noticed much about me in a long time. I haven't noticed much about her, either. I wonder if she's seeing someone else, too. Katie, the sweet girl I met one day at the grocery, I should've known then that she'd be a safe choice among the potatoes and cartons of milk. Perhaps I did know, I was just hungry for someone to keep me warm at night and remind me that I'm handsome the way she did. Katie and her sweaters, her everyday-omelets, her scrunched-up-nose laugh. She really did make me happy, but now it's come down to a choice. I can't keep doing this to her, she doesn't deserve this.

"Tell her it's not her fault,"
"Tell her she'll understand one day,"

Katie deserves more than that, she deserves a good man who will never, ever cheat on her. She deserves someone who will gladly watch movies with her on a Friday night in pajamas every week of the rest of her life. She deserves someone who doesn't understand concerts, contemporary art and Pablo Neruda, so they can be happy in their art-less world together. She deserves someone who wants to visit the cats at the pet store with her, 'so they don't get lonely' she always says. Maybe I shouldn't tell her. She seems happy enough not knowing. We could just carry on until ... Until what? Until she gets frustrated that I haven't proposed? Until she finds out, until someone tells her? No. Katie deserves this.

She's brushing her hair and humming one of her songs. Oh, Katie, I love you. The way someone loves the sweater that always works for a day they have nothing to wear. I love that you know what drink I want whenever you go to Starbucks, I love that you kiss my forehead in the morning to wake me up, I love that you ask the waitress for Tabasco for me because you know I eat it with every meal.

I sit on the bed beside her dressing table; she looks at me and rolls her eyes, "You really need to shave. You look like a pedophile. And what is wrong with your shirt? What is that stain? Ew, that's disgusting, can you please clean up without me having to tell you? And can you comb your hair? God, you know, sometimes I really wonder how I let you out of the house looking like that," she says. Oh, right. This is Katie. I ignore her comments and try to retain the good memories I just had.

She is oblivious to my deep breath, to my knotted fingers. "K, I can't do this anymore." It escapes my lips in a foggy whisper and she sits, frozen. I only call her K when something terrible has happened. She lowers the hairbrush and looks at me.
"Why?"
Oh god, here it is. The question. What do I do? Do I say it isn't working out and hide that I've been cheating on her for the past six months? Do I tell her? What would she want to know?

"I've met someone else,"

Katie stares at herself in the mirror. She's silent for so long, it scares me. What now?

9 comments:

Angel said...

Loved it! Will post the link on my twitter. :)

Joanna said...

Oh, thank you! :3

Jon said...

hey don't take this the wrong way, but I thought this was great

Joanna said...

How could I take that wrong? :) Thanks!

Bea said...

Ahhh Jo, this is like the third time I've read this post. So good!!

miriam said...

I love this story!!! I've always read your blog since I started a blogger when I was in High school. About 6 years ago, your blog is an inspiration and I'm always glad when you post your writings. :)
Just letting you know...

Joanna said...

Thanks Miriam! I remember that you used to comment on my posts a long time ago! Your kind words mean so much to me! People like you keep me going :)

alyssa's oh, so awesome. said...

I would never cheat on you Jo

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